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April 28th, 2007


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03:09 pm - One Cruise, to go, Hold the Passport (Part IV)
"Would you like me to tell you how my day went yesterday?" Dad said, sitting down across from me in the living room.

I looked at him. "Um ... sure, tell me about how your day went yesterday."

"Okay, well, before I begin, you remember that part in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where it stops and says something like 'before we continue, let us assure you that everything does, in fact, work out all right?'"

"Yesssss," I said, a bit hesitantly.

"Then let me just say that everything works out okay in the end," he said.

I sighed. "All right," I said, "lay it on me."

"Well, I was all set to go to the post office with my new birth certificate and pictures and everything. I was going to get there just about when they opened so that there wouldn't be any lines or anything. So I went to gather up all the stuff, and I realized I couldn't find the envelope where I had the documentation and the passport photos."

"Oh geez," I groaned.

"I was getting a little worried, but then I remembered I had that in my backpack. But the other day, I had a Sprite in there, and I'd left it in the car and it sort of exploded so I took the backpack up to my office at school and took everything out of it so the backback could dry out."

"And the Sprite wrecked the photos?" I asked with some trepidation.

"No, no, they were fine, but I had to go all the way up to school and get them. I ended up getting to the passport place about an hour later, but when I drove up, there were almost no cars there at all. Then, when I went in, there was nobody in line! I just walked right up!"

"Is this where I cue the ominous music?"

"No, it was great. I walked up and said I'd like to apply for a passport. The lady said, 'Well, I'll need your birth certificate.' I *whipped* out the birth certificate and said, 'Like THIS?' And she said, 'Perfect. Okay, I also need you to fill out this form.' So I *yanked* out the form that I'd already filled out and said, 'You mean THIS form?' And she said, 'Oh, yeah, that's great. Now I just need two passport photos.' So I *pulled* out the photos, and I said, 'Like THESE?' And she looked at them and said, 'Um .... actually, I think these are too light. I don't think they'll accept them.'" He paused for a moment so the full effect of these words could sink in.

"You're kidding," I said.

"No," he went on, "she showed them to the other lady there, and she said that maybe they'd accept them, but it was iffy. But no problem, they took another picture of me right there, so that was okay. Then I asked about the expediting, and the lady said, 'Oh, well, yes, you can request it to be expedited, but we're running about six weeks behind on that, so I don't think it'll really help.'"

Okay, that was bad. It was already April 26th, and the cruise was June 1st. Six weeks just was not going to cut it.

"What did you do?" I asked him incredulously.

"Well, I said, 'Look, I'm going to Canada for like an hour and a half on June first. Is there something I can do to get this accomplished? I mean, this is getting a little ridiculous.'"

"And?"

"And the lady said, 'Oh, no problem, there are agencies that will expedite your passport for you for a fee and you can get it in less than a week. Just google for fast passport and you should find a bunch of them.' So, I guess I'm going to do that," he concluded.

Now, bear in mind that over the last few weeks I'd been suggesting to Dad that he just go with one of these passport expediting agencies. We'd used one when a company I worked for got passports for half the staff on the assumption that we were going to take a trip to Belize to set up a gambling site. (Don't ask.) Anyway, it worked great and we had our passports in a few days.

"So," I said, "you're going to do what I've been SAYING you should do for the last few weeks."

Dad looked a bit hurt. "Well, those cost money," he said, "and if you do the expedite with the regular passport thing it doesn't cost anything. Supposedly, they could have gotten me the passport on time, but now, since they can't ... well ..." he trailed off.

"Ah," I said. "So, do you want me to see if I can find the one that did ours?"

"Sure, that'd be great."

I got up off the couch, and headed for my office. "Hey, you don't have to do that right now," Dad protested.

"No, it's fine," I said. "Let's do it right now. Lord knows what else might come up if we wait."

After a bit of a search, I decided that AmericanPassport.com was probably the agency we had used, so I gave Dad the address, he thanked me, and we went our separate ways.

Finally, it looked like the cruise would be able to go on as planned. Of course, we still had to see what would happen with AmericanPassport.com...

[to be continued]

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:diachrony
Date:April 28th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Scheherezade strikes again. I'm worrying that something unforeseen will come up with American Passport ... on the other hand, it could be a breeze from here on out! Who knows? Tune in to find out!
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 28th, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
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The funny thing is, I have no idea how this will turn out. This has been going on, pretty much in real-time, since I posted the first entry about it. I'm still just blown away by all this.

I think my favorite part (which I forgot to mention, except in the comments of a previous post) is that there is a 'short form' and a 'long form' of the birth certificate, and he needed to make sure he got the 'long form' because they won't take the 'short form.'

I mean ... "short form?" WTF?

[User Picture]
From:diachrony
Date:April 29th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
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Since I don't have a passport (at least not yet), I'm finding all this very instructive!

I've got a birth certificate ... uh ... somewhere ... but I have no idea if it's "short form" or "long form." Oy.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 29th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
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I think the "long form" is the "short form" xeroxed on fancier paper.

I can't be sure of that, though.
[User Picture]
From:plklives
Date:April 29th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
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Maybe an attached notorized video of the birth? Or in a pre-camcorder age, at least a flip-book of detailed drawings?
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 29th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
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Back in the Oklahoma Territory, we carved our birthin' videos on STONE TABLETS.

And we were DAMN GLAD to have 'em!
[User Picture]
From:plklives
Date:April 29th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
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And they did it all with nothing to eat but hard tack and jerky! That's the pioneer spirit!
[User Picture]
From:sushirob
Date:April 28th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh you mean just before the missile attack over magrathea..

You know, I think I still have that gambling site in my archives. Think anyone would notice if we put it up?

[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 28th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that. I was too lazy to look up the exact wording.

Do you really? Oh my God, that would be hilarious! Wasn't it some sort of "stupidfootball.com" or something?
[User Picture]
From:sushirob
Date:April 29th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Yup, its not even archived, its in my old code folder. Survival League - Football. Not sure what the domain was supposed to be anymore, oddly enough it doesn't say on the site.

[User Picture]
From:xviragox
Date:April 29th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
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"Then let me just say that everything works out okay in the end," he said.

...except for the fact that he came home no closer to having a passport?!
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 29th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
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Um ... pretty much, yeah.

I think he meant that he wasn't completely denied a passport or told that it would be impossible to get.
[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:April 29th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
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I must say, Points to your dad for the Hitchhiker's reference! (I mean- being able to quote Douglas Adams makes EVERYTHING better, Right?)
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 29th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Haha! Oh, definitely. Dad's actually the one that introduced me to Hitchhiker's Guide -- it was the old BBC TV version. Of course, that led to the books and it was all downhill from there.

You'd be amazed at what all Dad can quote. :-)
[User Picture]
From:sushirob
Date:April 29th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
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I just hope he doesnt secretly dream of being a super saiyan.
[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:April 29th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
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I had that BBC TV Version on Tape, once upon a Time...Lord.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 29th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
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You can get it on DVD now, too. It still rules. :-)
[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
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Squeee!!! Classic Douglas Adams! (May He always and eternally know where His towel is...)

(As crazy as it sounds, it's partly because of that man that I will pack a towel with me on a trip- EVEN if I know I'll be staying in a hotel or something equally stocked with towels!)

[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
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I found it at Amazon and bought copies for like everyone in the family last Christmas. I couldn't bear to watch the movie version because it wouldn't be the "real" Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent.
[User Picture]
From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:April 30th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
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And MArvin's not the same, either... he's a MIDGET! (No I haven't seen it either- for much the same reasons...)

(Though I will say that Alan Rickman is a good Voice-choice for Marvin...)
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:April 30th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Alan Rickman as Marvin's voice is the only thing I approve of about the movie.

Without actually seeing it, of course.
[User Picture]
From:otterprincess
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
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holy shit o.0

i can't wit to see where this thing ends up
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
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You and me both!

Hey, if nothing else, I get a free cruise to Alaska! hahaha!

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